Quotes From Orange Bowl Press Conference

Dec. 6, 2006

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe and Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino met with the south Florida media here this afternoon. Quotes from the two coaches follow:

Wake Forest Head Coach Jim Grobe

"It's an honor for us to be here and to have the opportunity to play in the Fed Ex Orange Bowl. We certainly have our work cut out for us in playing Louisville, a well-coached, talented football team. I am very proud of our football team. We have bounced back from a lot of adversity. I am proud of our coaching staff. I am proud of the way our kids played down the stretch. I was proud of the way our staff and players handled that.


"We are looking forward to getting down here. We couldn't be more proud of our football team. We are honored to bring Wake Forest University to the Orange Bowl."


On parity in college football:

"From our standpoint, if you look across the country you'll see we're not the only Cinderella story out there. Everybody has good players. With the scholarship limits I think things have evened out a little bit. College football across the country is getting more balanced every year. I think Wake Forest gives everyone a little hope that you can be successful with a little patience."


Biggest concern about adversity that was overcome:

"We lost Ben Mauk in the first game against Syracuse, and then lost Micah Andrews, a preseason All-ACC running back in the third game. I think the coaches had a more difficult time dealing with it than the players. Our older players didn't panic. Our coaches had a dilemma because we spent the entire spring in an offense designed for Ben Mauk. I have to give my coaches some credit for overcoming the loss of Micah and Ben. Our players are the ones that really made it happen. They were sad for Micah and Ben, but they went out and played hard every Saturday."


Is the BCS bowl sweeter concerning the path you had to get here?:

"Coach Petrino sounds a lot like our football team. In all my years of coaching I've never had more fun coming to the office. We have a really good team chemistry. We don't have any clicks within the football team like you sometimes have. Our guys genuinely like one another".


On the low preseason expectations:

"I can understand why we were picked last. Our history indicates we haven't been strong. But I thought with 18 returning starters that we would be pretty good. When we were picked last I thought maybe I had missed something".


On the overall success of the WFU athletic department:

"When I first got to Wake Forest all our sports had been so good for so long. Football was the one sport that had not been very successful over the years. They had been to some bowl games and had good players, but weren't consistent. We thought if all the other sports were good that we could be good in football too. It encouraged us that we could get the job done in football. I think maybe now the other sports feel like we belong."


On the excitement around campus:

"We just had a whirlwhind experience. It's something that we've just started to enjoy. The last five games of the season were critical for us. So, we're just starting to figure out what all of this means. Our student body is really excited even though we're in final exams right now. We have a lot of enthusiasm. Our students were fired up when we beat Georgia Tech and we got a great reception when we got back to campus. It's been really fun."




Louisville Head Coach Bobby Petrino

"I'd like to congratulate Coach Grobe on their season and ACC championship. When we prepared for our game against Syracuse, we got to see Wake Forest on film and I told our coaching staff that Wake Forest might be a good place for us to visit in the spring and learn something.


"I think you'll like what you see when you watch our team play. We like to spread it out on offense. I think our defense held us together when our offense was struggling. We're really excited to be here and to play in the state of Florida. I think we'll have a great football game for everybody."





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